Figuring out how to meal plan can feel so complicated & hard. Especially when you are learning new food habits & making big lifestyle changes. I personally needed a lot of help when I got started on my own health & wellness journey, so I became a lifetime member of the Tone It Up nutrition plan. This entire post is going to feel like a TIU fan girl post, but they run all kinds of fun fitness challenges throughout the year & there is usually a coordinating meal plan with 8 weeks of really delicious food plus it’s all mapped out with groceries plans, pantry basics, a journal entry to help you focus on goals, & tons & tons of recipes.
Now that I’m 2 years into my food journey, I’m able to be more flexible, so I meal plan using TIU menus combined with some others I’ve found on Pinterest and make a 2 week meal plan. I typically eat about 5 meals a day; 3 main meals with 2 snacks in between with an occasional sweet after the kids go to bed. I aim to get in about 128 ounces of water in a day. I want to stress how much I do not do this perfectly. This all looks very organized & it is so easy to write the highlights & the successes, but food planning, prep & cooking is a constant battle for me! This is how I make it easy for myself & set myself up for success for the moments when I want to do takeout.
Here’s an example of one day of how I eat:
As soon as I wake up: 20 oz of water first thing & a Meta D shot with 4 oz of pineapple juice, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/4 a lime & a dab of honey. Here are some more metabolism boosting drinks.
Meal 1- Breakfast: My youngest & I eat the same thing, something along the lines of chocolate protein waffles topped with strawberries & 1 tsp of honey. My big kids eat scrambled eggs or cereal bars with fruit before school.
Meal 2- Snack: Apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter or I’ll have a banana sliced down the middle topped with 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2-1 tsp honey & cocao nibs. My youngest usually skips the cacao nibs & honey, but keeps the peanut butter.
Meal 3- Lunch: 6 oz of grilled chicken salad in an organic spring mix topped with nuts, cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup black beans. Dressing is a homemade balsamic vinaigrette (3 tbsp grape seed oil + 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Salt & pepper to taste.) My youngest will eat chicken nuggets with a vegetable (he prefers broccoli) & a fruit. He asks for water or to drink Strawberry flavored Bubly carbonated water. Not joking! He’s my hippie child.
My older 2 are at school for lunch. One of them prefers to have a packed lunch & the other always wants a tray so I have to find a compromise. When lunches are packed, it’s typically deli meat, sliced strawberries or a banana, pretzels, carrots (and I sneak in a hummus dip, sometimes they eat it. Sometimes they don’t.) Dark chocolate chips. We will do thermoses of water or Capri Suns.
Meal 4- Snack: 1/4 cup of hummus with 1-2 cups of veggies. Usually carrots or cucumber. Sometimes I do a protein bar. My youngest will eat the carrots with hummus or he will do blue corn chips & hummus. My older 2 prefer to have fruit, pretzels, popcorn or like yesterday, they had graham crackers dipped in almond milk.
Meal 5- Supper: Chicken meatballs over zucchini noodles with a marinara sauce. I buy the green giant frozen ones, not even ashamed to admit it. Keeping it real & keeping it easy. The rest of the family eats a whole grain rotini noodle with the meatballs. And sometimes I’ll serve a bread for them to eat, I skip out of the whole gluten thing. I also serve some sort of a veggie on the side, right now we are on a big broccoli & green bean kick.
I cut soda out of my life in April 2017 because I love love love Coke & Dr Pepper beyond the ability to control myself if I’m drinking it. But I need bubble in my life, so I drink Bubly carbonated water in Strawberry, Lime or Grapefruit. I usually save this as a treat for after the kids go to bed & I’ll eat a chocolate protein donut or a Peanut Butter Bite with added protein. I’m also a highly anxious person & I end my night with chamomile tea. It helps me to sleep so much more soundly. It’s probably a placebo effect but bring it on cause it’s gets the job done.
I hope that this was helpful for you! Please comment below or email me if you have any questions. I am not nor have I ever claimed to be a recipe creator, it’s not a passion of mine. I only aim to share what makes nutritious food planning easy for the every day woman; I will give credit where credit is due. All the links in here are to the recipes (if they are available), the images of the full meal plan calendar came with the Tone It Up meal plan, so I can’t share it because of copyright. I did link a free one at in the resources section at the bottom. I also added a link in my resources list to Peyton from Choosing Balance. She has an incredible site & Instagram for healthy, whole foods. You will enjoy her immensely!